Greece's 2011 Deficit, Public Debt Worse Than ExpectedBulgaria in EU | October 22, 2012, Monday // 19:59| views
A woman walks past a closed shop showing the phrase `Closed for ever`, in central Athens, Greece, 22 October 2012. Thousands of shops have closed down due to the economic crisis and deep recession in the Greek economy. EPA/BGNES
Greece's deficit and public debt for 2011 are higher than originally estimated, provisional figures released on Monday by the Greek national statistics authority showed.
According to the provisional data, the Greek budget deficit for 2011 stood at 9.4% of GDP, and the public debt at 170.6% of GDP.
Meanwhile, also on Monday, the European Commission said it hopes Greece and its international creditors will reach within days an agreement on extra measures Athens must take to get its next tranche of bailout funds.
Officials from the EU, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank were working with Greece and making progress, a spokesman for European Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said, as cited by The Economic Times.
"What we hope for is a staff level agreement in the next few days ... we are getting close," the spokesman said, adding when asked if euro zone finance ministers were ready to meet on the issue, that there were no such plans.
Talks have been underway for months between the EU-IMF-ECB troika and Greece on the new austerity measures worth EUR 13.5 B that Athens must accept in return for some EUR 31.5 B in aid funds.
Once the EU-IMF-ECB troika officials reach a technical accord with Athens, the deal must then go to their respective leaders for final approval of the terms and clearance of the funds.
Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said at the weekend that Athens would redouble its efforts to reach a deal after the government warned it could run out of money by next month.
"We have completed 90% of the road ... we have almost reached the end and now we have to give answers to the subjects that are still outstanding.
"It would be a waste of all this national effort if we don't succeed," Stournaras said.
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